According to therapist Bruce Ecker the co-author of Unlocking the Emotional Brain, the first step in helping clients understand why they get stuck in self-defeating patterns is getting to the root of “emotional learnings” that guide their life.

In this brief video clip, Bruce shares his process—using the example of a client who, despite having an abusive boss, had remained at his dead-end job for years. Focusing on a simple statement of the client’s core belief—“Even though it’s so clear to me that I should leave this job and head for something better, I’d better not do that.”—Bruce shows the impact of having him access the emotional learnings that underlie his stuckness in life.

Rich Simon

Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day. 

Bruce Ecker

Bruce Ecker, MA, LMFT, is codirector of the Coherence Psychology Institute, co-originator of Coherence Therapy, and coauthor of Unlocking Emotional Brain and Depth Oriented Brief Therapy.